Sony: Microsoft “Is Protecting an Inferior Technology”
Last week, Microsoft’s Chris Lewis stated that they would refuse to publish games for XBLA if they were originally exclusive on PSN, or had PSN exclusive content. The rules also extended to retail games, where they must ship with at least the same content on-disc across all platforms. Sony Computer Entertainment America’s SVP of Publisher Relations Rob Dyer, has shared his opinions concerning Microsoft’s polices – and he hasn’t held back.
Speaking in regards to Microsoft’s policies, Dyer told Industry Gamers:
I think what [Xbox Europe boss] Chris Lewis was referring to was something that we’ve known about for quite some time, that we’ve been dealing with, and trying to deal with – in the spirit of competition, more than anything, we look for ways to give our consumer reason to have the PS3. I think what Chris and the other representatives at Microsoft are doing is protecting an inferior technology. I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9 gigs or you want to do anything of that nature, you’d better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can’t handle that.
And that’s a huge problem with them. It first started on the smaller pubs, and we can talk about what’s happened on XBL and the policy they have there that requires publishers to have a whole litany of things in order to get onto their network or they have to go through and be published by Xbox, by Microsoft, which essentially lets them dictate how long they’ll be exclusive and whether or not they own the IP, etc, etc. They – for instance, if you want to be able to do something on XBL, you need to have an office, there’s all kinds of restrictions. We don’t do that. We don’t have any kind of policy like that. We’re not pushing that. In fact, we’ve gone the other way to try and encourage publishers through our Pub Fund… We want to welcome the indies and we’ve seen that become a very big part of our business because indies are recognizing that we aren’t demanding a pound of flesh in order for them to get a game published on our network.
I just wanted to make it clear from Chris Lewis’ comment last week and the fact that he’s saying, ‘Well, this is great for consumers,’ and that they’re going to protect their consumers. I think that that is an admirable stance to take. That being said, while they might be protecting their consumers, what are they protecting them from? And what it looks like they’re protecting them from is the ability to see great content show up on a superior technology. And that, to me, is the problem we’re having right now is these threats and these serious issues that Microsoft is throwing at publishers – it’s only going to dumb down what could potentially come out for a number of these games. And whether people are willing to stand up to Microsoft on this stuff or not is up to that publisher and they do it at their own risk.
It is a fact that a Blu-ray disc can hold significantly more data than a standard DVD, so it is sad to see that content may be cut out of multiplatform games to accommodate Microsoft’s strict guidelines.